While we're talking about holidays ...

If you want to know which holidays are written with an apostrophe, there's no rule to help you. It varies from holiday to holiday, from publisher to publisher, and sometimes even from dictionary to dictionary. I included the major holidays in my book The Best Punctuation Book, Period. If you don't have handy one of the 20 copies I'm sure you've purchased by now (smile), you can always check a style guide or a dictionary (in that order). If you're writing for news media or business, check the alphabetical listings of the Associated Press Stylebook. If you don't find the holiday you're looking for, check Webster's New World College Dictionary, which is one of the dictionaries searchable at www.yourdictionary.com. If you're writing in the style of book publishers, check the Chicago Manual of Style and, if you don't find the answer there, check Chicago's go-to dictionary, Merriam-Webster's Collegiate, which is at m-w.com.

Here's what you'll find:

New Year, New Year’s, New Year’s Day, New Year’s Eve

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (note there's no "Rev.,” no “Dr.” and no comma before “Jr.")

Valentine's Day (note it's singular; if you want to use the "Saint,"  spell it out in AP style (Saint Valentine’s Day) but abbreviate in Chicago style (St. Valentine’s Day)

Presidents Day in AP style; Presidents' Day in Chicago style

Groundhog Day

St. Patrick's Day

April Fools' Day

Mother's Day

Fathers' Day

Veterans Day

Xmas (no hyphen)


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